Skip to Content

Santa Cruz County fisherman react to salmon season being shutdown in California

Briana Mathaw

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- For the second straight year, the Pacific Fishery Management Council has recommended to end salmon season throughout the state of California.

Fisheries in Santa Cruz County were disappointed to learn about the news.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council says the lack of salmon led them to recommend the full closure of commercial and recreational salmon fishing. Which is leaving a financial impact on boat workers and employees.

“The Bait and tackle shop here is going to have a hard time paying your bills, fuel stations will have a hard time paying their bills as well as charter operators," Jim Ritchie a Santa Cruz resident said.

The PFMC says the stocks for salmon are impacted in California due to previous droughts and climate issues. The current salmon were also impacted by wildfires. 

“That’s a hard part about not having a salmon season is the bills don’t stop on the other side of it," Tim Obert president of Santa Cruz commercial fisherman association said.

“If you don’t have the sportsman out there and the fisherman out there who’s gonna support the fishing commission and the decisions they make, Ritchie from Santa Cruz said. "It's just going to be a bad loose situation all around.” 

The Newsom administration is requesting another federal fishery disaster declaration to financially support impacted communities. 

Tim Obert the president of Santa Cruz commercial fisherman association said he still hasn’t had any relief. The only thing helping him out is a loan.

"The only relief I got was a loan where I have to make a payment every month and that payment has interest so technically, I lose more money in the situation, Obert said. "I'm paying the interest and not being able to provide food for my family and pay my mortgage. I have to go to other fisheries, work out of state or do side jobs.”

The Newsom administration and legislature has already spent over $800 million in state investments over the last three years to protect and restore salmon populations.

California Department of Fishing and Wildlife director Charlton H. Bonham says, “while we have been enjoying back-to-back wet winters this year and last, the salmon that will benefit from these conditions aren’t expected to return to California until around 2026 or 2027.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Briana Mathaw


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content